Lander's Travels eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,054 pages of information about Lander's Travels.
a book for that amount.”  Seeing that he had nothing to do but to comply with his demand, Lander gave him a bill on Lake the commander of the English vessel, after which he said, “To-morrow you may go to the brig; take one servant with yon, but your mate, (meaning his brother,) must remain here with your seven people, until my son, King Boy, shall bring the goods for himself and me, after this they shall be sent on board without delay.”

In order that he might make a decent appearance before his countrymen on the following day, Richard Lander was obliged to sit the whole of the afternoon with an old cloth wrapped round him, until his clothes were washed and dried.  This was the most miserable and starving place which they had yet visited:  since their arrival, Mr. Gun had sent them two meals, consisting of a little pounded yam, and fish stewed in palm oil, and for this he had the impudence to demand two muskets in payment.  These fellows, like the rest on the coast, were a set of imposing rascals, little better than downright savages; Lander was informed that they had absolutely starved three white men, shortly before his arrival, who had been wrecked in a slaving vessel, when crossing the bar.


Richard Lander had determined that one of his men should accompany him down the river, and at ten o’clock, having taken leave of his brother and the rest of the party, they embarked in King Boy’s canoe, with a light heart and an anxious mind:  although distant about sixty miles from the mouth of the river, his journey appeared to him already completed, and all his troubles and difficulties, he considered at an end.  Already, in fond anticipation, he was on board the brig, and had found a welcome reception from her commander had related to him all the hardships and dangers they had undergone, and had been listened to with commiseration; already had he assured himself of his doing all he could to enable him to fulfil his engagements with these people, and thought themselves happy in finding a vessel belonging to their own country in the river at the time of their arrival.  These meditations and a train of others about home and friends, to which they naturally led, occupied his mind as the canoe passed through the narrow creeks, sometimes winding under avenues of mangrove trees, and at others expanding into small lakes occasioned by the overflowing of the river.  The captain of the canoe, a tall sturdy fellow, was standing up, directing its course, occasionally hallooing as they came to a turn in the creek, to the fetish, and where an echo was returned half a glass of rum and a piece of yam and fish were thrown into the water.  Lander had seen this done before, and on asking Boy the reason why he was throwing away the provisions thus, he asked, “Did you not hear the fetish?” The captain of the canoe replied, “Yes.”  “That is for the fetish,” said Boy, “if we do not feed him, and do good for him, he will kill us, or make us poor and sick.”  Lander could not help smiling at the ignorance of the poor creatures, but such is their firm belief.

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Lander's Travels from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.